Local Media

PFAS REPORT: DO NOTHING NOT AN OPTION

September 24, 2020

The latest report into levels of PFAS in and around RAAF Base Amberley make it clear that doing nothing is not an option.

Federal Member for Blair, Shayne Neumann said he has read the three latest reports, totalling over 1,500 pages, and said current and potential future risks were identified that required ongoing management.

“I call on the Federal Government to accept the results of these investigations and commit to ongoing management and action,” Mr Neumann said.

“I am relieved that the levels of PFAS in soil and sediment in the soil, sediment and waterways pose low and acceptable risks to humans and native fauna, such as kangaroos and koalas.

“The levels are much higher around the former fire station on the RAAF base, which is to be expected.

“But the results of these investigations make it clear that there are potential risks to human health and the environment based on the use of the land and water at the RAAF Base and in the surrounding areas.

“The report clearly indicates that doing nothing cannot be an option. It is important to manage the risks.”

PFAS or Per- and Poly-Fluoroalkyl Substances, are found in products used at Amberley for
fire fighting and fire fighting training. The Department of Defence began an environmental investigation of PFAS at Amberley and the surrounding area in 2017.

The reports released this week include Preliminary and Detailed Site Investigations along with a Human Health Risk Assessment and Ecological Risk Assessment.

“Local residents in and around Amberley RAAF base, particularly those living in the Golf Links estate in Leichhardt, can feel confident that these detailed investigations have demonstrated the risks to human health and the local environment are relatively low and are considered “acceptable”.

“However, the Department of Defence must implement strong measures to minimise any potential risk to humans and the local environment.”

The reports can be found here: https://www.defence.gov.au/environment/pfas/Amberley/

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